G3, GENETICS, and the GSA: Two Journals, One Mission

By Johnston, Mark; Andrews, Brenda J. et al. | Genetics, September 2011 | Go to article overview

G3, GENETICS, and the GSA: Two Journals, One Mission


Johnston, Mark, Andrews, Brenda J., Hawley, R. Scott, Sternberg, Paul W., Hieter, Phillip, Schedl, Tim, Genetics


WITH the June launch of its open access journal G3: Genes j Genomes j Genetics, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) now offers two peer-edited journals. The missions of G3 and GENETICS are fundamentally the same: to provide a forum for timely communication of the latest findings in genetics, selected by editors who are the authors' peers. But the scopes of the two journals are different. Why offer two journals?

Since 1916, GENETICS has sought to publish significant advances in the field. To be considered for publication in the journal, the Editors have stipulated that manuscripts must provide new insights into a biological process or demonstrate novel and creative approaches to an important biological problem or describe development of new resources, methods, technologies, or tools. And the study must be of interest to a wide range of genetics and genomics investigators. In short, the Editors of GENETICS seek to attract and publish articles that they believe will have a high impact on the field.

However, the GSA recognizes that this leaves large gaps in its coverage of foundational genetics and genomic research. Impact is relative, and interest and significance are subjective terms; the potential significance of scientifically rigorous findings will never be realized if they remain hidden. New discoveries that advance a field, no matter its size, move science forward; emerging fields will be unable to develop if practitioners are unable to publish their findings. And genetic research increasingly relies on access to data sets; rapid publication of those data sets enables future insights. These are some of the reasons that led the GSA Board of Directors to launch G3 as GENETICS's sister journal.

G3 seeks to publish articles that describe well-executed and lucidly-interpreted genetic studies of all kinds. G3 is not bound by the subjective editorial criteria of importance, novelty, or broad appeal. The only criteria for publication in G3 are that the results or resources described in the manuscript are scientifically sound and (actually or potentially) useful. And not being concerned for potential impact or broad appeal allows the Editors to streamline the review process, leading to quick decisions and publication.

G3's mandate includes publishing foundational research- the cornerstones of future insights and the building blocks of our discipline. Genome maps (genetic, physical, and sequence) may not provide immediate biological insights, but they pave the way for future discoveries. If those discoveries are to be realized, such data must be made freely accessible to geneticists. Genome-wide association (GWAS) and quantitative trait loci (QTL) studies may not always illuminate the trait under study, but the data are likely to be useful; instead of important genetic data remaining unseen in a notebook, publication offers the potential for discovery, usefulness, and synergy. …

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